For The Kids

A Sheep Needle Holder Wall Hanging

Being the frugal type, who likes to pinch every penny as hard as I can so that I can use that extra cash for important things like fiber and yarn, my needles had no "real" home.  They just hung there in a loop of yarn.  Practical, cheap, utilitarian and, well, ugly. 

 Messy needles

I like hanging my needles on the wall because I can get them easily from my chair, and they don't get kinks in the cables.  As an added bonus a certain yarn pillager you may have met last issue can't reach them.  This is a cute, fun project that will store your needles, keep them organized and cost about $5 (unless you have to buy the glue gun, but don't know of any fiber person who would consider a life without one of these).  It only takes about 30 minutes to make, and my kids LOVED this project, even the 13 year old boy thought it was "neat".  Kids can also make these to hold pencils, at least until they have lost them all down the vents and under the beds, then you have to hunt them up and put them back in the sheep, but in theory, it could be used for this.

 materials


You will need:

3 white foam sheets (you get this near the felt in craft stores)
2 black foam sheets
Hot-glue gun, Elmers or contact cement.  (the Elmers worked, but I would use one of the others if possible)
Scissors
Hole punch
Sharpie Marker or other permanent marker.  WARNING!!! If your children color each other's faces black because you leave it out, don't blame me.  Also it takes four days and multiple scrubbings to get it off, and it will happen before something important like portraits, church, Great-Grandma's 103rd birthday or some other event you can't possibly get out of.

Punch Holes

Instructions:

Begin by folding a white sheet in half lengthwise, and punching 15 holes along the folded edge.  Don't worry if they aren't spaced perfectly, but do try to get a half inch between the holes.  If you have straight needles, you can punch holes in pairs, but the whole range of sizes won't fit.  Decide whether you want a vertical or horizontal sheep, and number your holes, making note of which way up they need to be before you write them.  As an aside, no matter how many times you try to explain it, a 5 year old will not understand why there is a 10.5, and no 12.  The holes will take up to a 15, anything bigger requires two holes punched with the edges touching to make one big hole.

Glue the sheets together

Now you will glue the punched sheet to another white sheet.  We want to create a hump in the middle, where the sheep's backbone would be.  This is so the needles will go in and out easily.  So you want to glue a line along the holes, but about an inch towards the edge.  So you will be glueing the sheet down along the holes, but about an inch over to the right or left.

 Glue the Other Side

Now you glue the other side, you will have to hump up the top sheet before you let it touch the glue.  You want this line of glue to be about an inch on the OTHER side of the holes.  Now fold the sheet like when you punched the holes, and then press down to the side of the hump.  If this seems hard, you can stick a 3/4 inch dowel in, and wrap the sheet over it, and glue it down on the other side.  Round the corners off with the scissors.

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Now comes the fun part!  Cut two strips from the black sheet lengthwise, about 3/4 to 1 inch wide.  Cut one large tear drop shape (black), or you can cut a triangle, then round the corners.  This will be the head.  Cut two ear sized tear drops or leaf type shapes (black), two circles for eyes (white) or use some of the googly eyes.  If you chose to use circle eyes, punch two holes in some scrap black for the pupils.  Glue the face parts on the large piece after arranging them in a pleasing way.  The ears should go in the corners somewhere, and the eyes in the middle.  The pupils of course go inside the white circles.  Now glue your head onto the correct edge of your sheep body.

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With scissors, cut the strips of black foam in half, which makes four legs.  Cut a triangle from each end to make a hoof shape.  Glue these between the two sheets, at the corners of the body for the hanging sheep, and in a leaping arrangement for the jumping sheep.  Now glue around all the outside edges.

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Glue one last scrap piece of foam across where you would like to hang your sheep from, and punch 2 more holes.  Thread some yarn through the holes and tie an overhand knot to secure.  Trim the edges.

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Now you can use these cute little critters to organize all your circular needles easily and neatly.

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